Our top webpages in 2019 and 2020: What has changed and stayed the same?

When comparing McGill Library’s website statistics from Google Analytics before and since March 2020, you get a fascinating glimpse of where usage has changed and stayed the same. While physical library branches closed on Friday, March 13th due to COVID-19, the Library’s electronic resources and virtual services have always remained available.

What has stayed constant? The search for library materials continued. The average number of daily users of McGill Library’s catalogue, WorldCat Discovery, was similar from March 16th to November 27th, 2020 compared to the same period last year, with a difference of one more user. Our catalogue was searched by both local and international users. From March to November this year, most users were from these 5 countries: Canada (1 million users), the United States (163K), France (15K), the United Kingdom (8K), and India (6K). Compared to last year, India replaced Germany in the top 5 countries this year. The busiest day in the 2020 period occurred on Tuesday, April 14th. There were 10,175 search sessions undertaken by 9,475 users.

What has changed? Librarians have created online guides that present the best resources for finding information in specific disciplines or fields. The average number of daily users of these subject guides has increased by a third from March 16 to November 27, 2020 compared to the same period last year. Individual guides with the largest increases in unique pageviews, experiencing over double their 2019 usage, were related to diverse topics such as: citation styles and software, conducting systematic and scoping reviews, inclusive writing in French, and designing instruction for e-learning. The top 10 subject guides with unique pageviews are listed below, of which half of these guides (marked with 3 stars) were also in the top 10 last year.

  1. Rayyan for Systematic Reviews: Getting Started ***
  2. EndNote for Mac ***
  3. Nursing ***
  4. SciFinder: Get Connected
  5. Canadian Law ***   
  6. MGCR 352 Principles of Marketing: Marketing Plan – Part I
  7. Citation Guides by Style ***
  8. Systematic Reviews, Scoping Reviews, and other Knowledge Syntheses: Identifying the Research Question
  9. Scholarly Journal Publishing Guide: Types of Review
  10. Écriture inclusive: Les prenoms neutres

Our webpage on temporarily open e-resources during COVID-19 made it to the top 5 non-subject guide pages with the most unique pageviews. Apart from subject guides, most webpages with the largest increases in unique pageviews, from March 16 to November 27, 2020 compared to the same period last year, were related to accessing the library’s electronic resources such as:

Non-subject webpages with the largest decreases from 2019 to 2020 were about the use of physical library spaces. On a related note, our webpage about reserving study hubs in library branches was in the top 5 non-subject guide pages with the most unique pageviews this year.

An infinite number of thanks to all my library colleagues who are ensuring the delivery of McGill Library services, whether through direct contact with users or working behind the scenes, and to all our users for their unwavering support.

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